A receiver and transmitter are provided for a distress incident locating telecommunications system. The receiver is a superheterodyne AM receiver which applies the received distress transmissions to a normally unlocked phaselock loop which locks onto the unmodulated carrier signal portion of the distress transmission. The duration of the phaselock loop being locked, and unlocked immediately after being locked, are measured and compared to predetermined values to find a match. Each of the predetermined values corresponds to an item of information, and if a match is found, the receiver indicates it. The receiver is also capable of extracting audio information present in the distress transmission. The transmitter generates three signals which can be applied to a transmitting antenna. These signals are a radio frequency carrier signal, and a carrier signal modulated by a distress waveform or by an audio signal. The signal which is ultimately applied to the transmitting antenna will have four parameters where each set of parameters corresponds to a different item of information. The parameters are which one or more of the three signals will be applied to the antenna, the sequence of application of the signals to the antenna, the duration of each of the signals, and the frequency of the audio signal.